Impacts of conflicting land tenure systems on land acquisition by agribusiness developers in Côte d’Ivoire


Large scale farming relies on favourable land tenure systems. However, conflicting land tenure is affecting agribusiness development in sub-Sahara Africa. A key question is whether Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s leading producer of cocoa, has been spared from the rampant land tenure challenging commercial farming. This paper is a reflection on the consequences of legal pluralism on the development of agribusiness. Through a case study of a region of south-eastern Cote d’Ivoire, it intends to demonstrate that coexistence of neo-customary and bureaucratic forms of land tenure constitutes a major obstacle for agribusiness development. Qualitative methods including individual interviews and focus group discussions were employed. Results reveal that land tenure systems are intricately linked to the complexity of agribusiness development. The study further finds land tenure systems is a source of conflicts between agribusiness developers and smallholders. Hence, agribusiness finds it difficult to grow due to land tenure systems, which cause immense hardship for agribusinesses developers in the South Comoé.  The case of the South Comoé region, therefore, articulates a compelling need for policymakers to consolidate the land tenure system which has failed to secure land for agribusiness development.


land tenure systems; agribusiness development; Rural Land Act No. 98-750

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Published : 2022-04-04

Effossou, A., Cho, M., & Ramoelo, A. (2022). Impacts of conflicting land tenure systems on land acquisition by agribusiness developers in Côte d’Ivoire. Journal of Agribusiness and Rural Development, 63(1), 25–39.

Antoine Kablan Effossou
Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology and 2Centre for Environmental Studies (CFES), University of Pretoria  South Africa
Moses Azong Cho 
Precision Agriculture Group, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), PO Box 395, Pretoria, South Africa.  South Africa
Abel Ramoelo 
Centre for Environmental Studies (CFES), University of Pretoria, South Africa Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology University of Pretoria  South Africa

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